Fifth Year Celebration and Finale of School Marathon

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The finale of the fifth annual School Marathon took place Friday, October 11. Students from St. John’s and Beloit Elementary gathered at their respective schools, due to inclement weather, to complete the 26.2 mile marathon journey.

Over 100 students from grades first through sixth at Beloit Elementary began the journey and 86 completed the marathon. At St. John’s 50 students in kindergarten through fifth grade started and 50 students completed.

Under the direction of Stephanie Simmons, director of the Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation, and Stacy Thompson (BES) and Kelly and Teresa Griffeth (St. John’s) race coordinators, nearly 150 students from at both schools gathered to celebrate the achievements of the marathon finishers. The gymnasiums of each school were filled with students, parents, family and supporters.

Each student completing the 26.2 mile journey was recognized and received a t-shirt, 26.2 medal and a final charm for their school marathon necklace that read, “Stronger with Every Mile – 26.2!”

“We could not be more proud and happy with the School Marathon program entering completing its fifth year in Beloit,” said Simmons. “This program teaches kids more than just physical activity it shows them goal setting and achievement, it builds self confidence and promotes health lifestyle choices. We look forward to next year and growing this program to other schools in our county and region!”

For Highlights and more information about School Marathon and a celebration of finales past and present please visit the Medical Foundation’s Facebook page and watch a video honoring the students and thanking all the volunteers.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.